Democratic publishing is changing the world

WordPress Generation.

Before YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr, Medium and the plethora of self-publishing platforms came along – information was controlled and distributed by media publishers such as the BBC, New York Times and CNN.

In a handful of years this has changed out of all recognition. Breaking news comes from Twitter, political insight from WordPress-hosted content and “user generated content” is becoming the norm.

This is what is meant by “democratising the web”. And it’s important. It is changing the world.

CNN, BBC, Guardian, New York Times and many modern information publisher now use WordPress, or a very similar CMS, to create, edit, distribute, share and curate their offerings. Plus a whole host of new portals including Huffington Post, Medium and Quartz have sprung up on an ultra-modern take of the curated platform.

Note: WordPress has become the “Hoover” of vacuum cleaners, I suspect as it’s a term now so frequently used to explain content-management. In the interests of balance – there are alternatives including Drupal, Joomla and others.

WordPress are on a mission to power 50% of the web in the next decade and there’s nothing to suggest that won’t happen. It means we’re going to see a lot of changes on how information is gathered, curated, published and shared. So you can expect:

  • Many more companies becoming content publishers.
  • The simplification of sharing, curation and re-publishing
  • The breaking down of copyright and IP barriers
  • The “outing” of poorly-led organisations, and the rise of new-economy businesses
  • A peer-relationship with information, everyone becoming consumers, publishers, sharers and curators
  • The power of personal brand – and trust – over corporate messaging
  • A brave new world

The change may seem dramatic so far, but they only hint at the where the world will be come 2025. The new breed of Gen Y’ers have been brought up in an immersive digital world, one with few boundaries.

This world lives on user-generated content, from Facebook updates, to selfies, to Twitter et al. It’s all about sharing opinions openly and not adhering to (outdated?) concepts of copyright or slander. They just don’t care and whilst that will hurt some, the vast majority have a voice their parents didn’t.

As they mature, and start to wield the levers of power do you think they are suddenly going to revert to acting like the previous generation? So we can expect wholesale changes in society and it’s approach to information, privacy, monetization and brand.

It’s not just Twitter, or Facebook, or WordPress that will do this. Look at the rise of Tumblr, Medium and other publication-focuseed platforms – all designed to give you your 15 minutes of fame.

Time to start writing?